A redband rally got one more win for the Spokane Indians this year.
This week, Ballpark Digest awarded the team’s midsummer promotion aimed at increasing awareness and restoration for this region’s indigenous redband trout as the winner of the publication’s annual “Editor’s Choice Award for Outstanding Achievement” throughout all of professional baseball.
In July, the team sported specific uniforms with the distinctive coloring of the redband trout, a new mascot and a late-inning rally promotion tied to the entire effort.
On the day the team’s new uniforms were set to debut, normal-sized versions of the special ballcaps with the distinctive trout on them sold out hours before the game began, as the colorful merchandise swam off the shelves. Odd sizes sold out in the third inning.
This was good for the actual redband trout, with $5 from each purchase going to redband preservation funds.
The community was hooked.
And the redband rally was equally impressive for the Indians on the field. The team literally went from worst to first after the introduction of the promotion. Twenty of the Indians’ last 33 games were one-run games, including winning 11 of the last 13 one-run games.
Many in walk-off fashion.
Indians senior vice president Otto Klein said the team had long been looking for a late-game rally mascot, but wanted to do something that would work on several different levels.
“Our goal wasn’t just to create another new promotion,” Klein said. “We wanted to create a promotion with real depth – something historic and unique to minor league baseball. We love working with our community partners and most importantly, rallying around Spokane’s signature fish, the redband trout.”
Ballpark Digest publisher Kevin Reichard said that was exactly why the Indians won this year’s award.
“It’s certainly a great achievement when a team can combine a notable promotion with community outreach and make an impact on so many levels,” Reichard said. “We see lots of promotional and branding efforts come down the line, but it’s the rare one that really resonates with a community like the redband rally did.
“Every baseball team craves deeper ties to its home community and the Spokane Indians managed to deepen those ties with an outstanding effort.”